The focus is off of Josh Hamilton's return to Texas and back on baseball as the Rangers swoop into Anaheim to begin a three-game series against the Angels on Monday night at Angels Stadium.
There will still be interest in Hamilton because of his brutal beginning with the Angels -- a .176 batting average with two home runs. But the focus is and should be on the teams who both come into Monday's opener off of home sweeps against the Seattle Mariners and Detroit Tigers, respectively.
Here's what's to watch for the next three nights:
Pujols hobbling: Albert Pujols will be in the Angels' lineup as the designated hitter for the fifth straight game Monday night; at least that appears to be the plan. You may have noticed that Pujols wasn't running well at all when the Angels were in Texas for the Rangers' home-opening series April 5-7. You can read more about Pujols' pain here. Pujols is still swinging that bat well with a .317 batting average, two home runs and 13 RBIs.
Angels' starting rotation: The Angels took a big hit when they lost Jered Weaver to a fractured right arm on April 9 after a start against the Rangers in Arlington. Weaver is expected to be out at least another month. The Angels starters have not been very good in his absence. Joe Blanton and Jason Vargas, who will pitch the first two games of this series, are a combined 0-5 with a 7.67 ERA. Wednesday's starter, right-hander Tommy Hanson, has been OK with a 2-1 record and a 4.24 ERA. Former Ranger C.J. Wilson (1-0, 4.13) was able to go six innings against Detroit on Sunday despite throwing 52 pitches in the first two innings. Garrett Richards (1-0, 2.55) has been the Angels' best starter filling in for Weaver after opening the season in the bullpen.
Infield injuries: The Angels have two starting infielders on the disabled list -- shortstop Erick Aybar and third baseman Alberto Callaspo. Third baseman Luis Jimenez, called up from Triple-A Salt Lake City on April 12, had a six-game hitting streak snapped Sunday. He is batting .370. Brendan Harris (.308 BA) and Andrew Romine (.077 BA) have been splitting time at shortstop.
Frieri the great: The Angels haven't been able to get to closer Ernesto Frieri much in save opportunities. He had his last save on April 14. He has two on the season. Frieri has pitched well at home, not allowing a run in four appearances. The Angels acquired him in one of the best trades of 2012 from the San Diego Padres.